National Coming Out Day: 9 Celebrities Who Came Out In The Past Year

It’s National Coming Out Day. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already come out—so congrats on that!

The past twelve months have seen a number of big-name outings—athletes, journalists, actors. None is more important that the disclosure of everyday people like you, of course. But just the same, we’ve made a list of notable folks who announced they’re LGB or T since last National Coming Out Day.

Did we forget someone? Sound off in the comments!


Matt Bomer
The ridiculously hot White Collar star was already the star of our nighttime reruns before he confirmed what many of us suspected at an awards ceremony in February. He may have danced around the subject for a while (his husband is a public-relations wizard, after all) but Bomer has since been an out advocate for the LGBT community. Just last weekend, he picked up an award from GLSEN and spoke about what it was like to be a gay teenager.)


Frank Ocean

When Frank Ocean came out in the liner notes to his then-upcoming album, Channel Orange, pop culture skipped a beat for a moment. Was he really talking about a tortured relationship with another man? How would hip-hop react? The jury is still out to some extent, and Ocean hasn’t talked much about his sexuality since then, but he has earned major props from the biggest names in pop music, not to mention Grammy and VMA nods.



Jim Parsons
It’s not that The Big Bang Theory star was on the cover of tween magazines or was a heartthrob that made his subtle coming out in a New York Times article so important. It was that he is a household face (if not name) to millions of Americans who never thought they’ve encountered a gay person in their daily life.



Zachary Quinto
He’s not exactly the star of a CW series or the host of a daytime talk show, but Zachary Quinto went from a hit TV show to a mega-successful movie franchise to a role in Angels in America to coming out—without anyone in Hollywood crapping their pants. That’s big. Quinto speaks to the new generation that sees a celebrity come out and says, “so what?”


Sally Ride
It was sad when Sally Ride passed away—and even moreso when we found out she was gay only through her obituary. With the utmost respect, it felt like we were looking back at someone trapped in the values of an older generation. But that awkwardness was oddly comforting, knowing that the next time a lesbian break’s the Earth’s atmosphere, she’ll have a picture of her girlfriend taped on the windshield.


Sam Champion
This one made us smile: It was just the other weekend—in a New York Times writeup about the wedding of Thomas Roberts and his husband, Patrick Abner—that we saw in black and white what we’d known for years: That Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion was family. What made it so sweet was that he came out by way of announcing he and partner Rubem Robierb were getting married, too. It felt like just another item in the society pages.


Orlando Cruz

We’ll admit we didn’t know Cruz, a former Olympian and the World Boxing Federation’s number four ranked featherweight, before he came out last week. But as a premier athlete in one of the most macho of sports, Cruz made us stop and reassess.  “I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career,” he said.  I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican.  I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”

And that’s worth more than knocking anyone unconscious in the ring.


Kristy McNichol
After years of seeing McNichol, a former teen star and TV veteran from Family and Empty Nest, splashed across the pages of tabloids, it was nice to see her happily share her truth: McNichol came out in the pages of People in January 2012 because, she hoped, “coming out can help kids who need support.”

Anderson Cooper
Okay, so this was the coming out heard ’round the world. Even our bubbe knew Anderson Cooper went up the down staircase, but when you’re dealing with the American public until you actually say it, it’s not a fact. So Cooper said it, in a letter to Andrew Sullivan that went up on Sullivan’s blog. Talk about underplaying it!

Star Jones was convinced the Silver Fox came out over the summer to boost ratings for his flagging daytime talk show, but as Cooper said: “If I was wanting to boost ratings, I would have waited to announce it on ‘A Very Special Episode’ that would have been promo’d for weeks and weeks and there would have been commercials  [for] ‘Anderson’s Huge Announcement!”

Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Service Members
Technically we should have mentioned these brave men and women last Coming Out Day, since Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was officially tossed in September 2011. But, well, we didn’t. Let’s assume it took everyone a few weeks to believe it was true before they started living openly. So we’re gonna take the time now to congratulate all the gays and lesbians in the Armed Forces, and thank them for putting up with all that bullshit for so long.
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